Saturday 5/19 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Results

Waterford Speedbowl 5/19 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Results

Waterford, CT (May 19, 2012) – Waterford Speedbowl was back in action Saturday night with another round of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing. Picking up victories on the night included Keith Rocco of Meriden, who scorted the win in both the SK Modified® and Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model divisions, while Dan Darnstaedt of Westbrook won the Street Stock race and Ken Cassidy Jr. of Lisbon continued his domination of the Mini Stock division winning his seventh race on the season.  The INEX Legends Cars and Bandoleros joined the race program, with Farmington’s Dana Dimatteo and Oakdale’s Derek Debbis winning the respective divisions. 

The 35-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified® race was led to the green flag by Diego Monahan, looking to rebound after three straight weeks of hard wrecks.  Monahan took control from the start as Jeff Rocco moved to second position early on.  Monahan and Rocco moved out to a healthy lead ahead of a battle for third position among Jeffrey Gallup, Joe Perry, Kyle James and Rob Janovic Jr.  Multiple oil-downs and cleanups in the previous race kept the action interesting in the opening laps as several competitors had hair-raising moments. 

The action stayed clean and green despite track conditions.  Points leader Jeff Pearl dropped off the pace on lap-7, then retired on lap-8 with mechanical issues under the hood.  Behind Monahan and Jeff Rocco, James worked himself into third position, Janovic fourth and Keith Rocco to fifth by the time the first caution flew on lap-13 when Tyler Chadwick spun in turn four.  While under the caution, heartache for Monahan saw his car lose power and require a push to the pits.  Monahan did not return, continuing a string of misfortune. 

The lead was handed to Jeff Rocco, who had James to his outside for the restart.  Rocco got the jump to turn one with Janovic taking over second from James.  Keith Rocco also looked to file in underneath James but thought better of the move, settling in line in fourth position.  On lap-17 Rocco set James up high, then ducked low out of turn four to make a power move into turn one underneath him. The move was taken away by caution when Tom Abele Jr. spun exiting turn four, returning the race to caution.

The restart attempt saw a lead change with the green flag back in the air.  Jeff Rocco missed a shift, nearly spinning out of first place. The outside lane trucked ahead with Janovic and Keith Rocco into the top two spots in a blur.  Jeff Rocco settled back in third, ahead of James who had nowhere to go and held fourth. 

Over the next several laps Keith Rocco looked all over the new leader Janovic.  Rocco took up residence in an unusually high groove after experimenting earlier in the race.  He built momentum racing high, eventually getting a nose outside Janovic before taking over down the back chute on lap-25.  Janovic began to fade under a lengthy green flag run, having to hold back Jeff Rocco before Justin Strumpf spun in turn one on lap-30 to bring out the caution. 

Rocco mastered the last restart attempt to pull ahead of Janovic who got in line in second.  Janovic got to the leader’s rear bumper in turns three and four on lap-32 however could not pull alongside.  Rocco went on to the win, his fifth on the year.  Janovic was second, while Keith’s twin brother Jeff ended a solid run in third place.  Abele and Chadwick each rebounded from spins to place fourth and fifth.

Rocco looked the veteran in the 30-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model feature.  The race, which went caution free, saw Anthony Flannery Jr. take the race lead in the opening circuits. Flannery stretched his lead while Rocco worked through traffic, taking second position on lap-3.  Rocco patiently bided his time, closed in on Flannery’s bumper and applied pressure around the halfway point.  He settled in behind Flannery, then made another closing run over the final five laps that saw him make a successful move outside to take the win. 

The 25-lap Street Stock feature belonged to Darnstaedt. He overcame an opening lap fracas that collected nearly the whole field, taking the lead from Norm Root Jr. on the outside following a restart.  Darnstaedt had to prevail over two final restarts before taking his first victory in the division since 2005.

Cassidy continued his hot start to 2012, winning for the seventh time in eight NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Mini Stock events. Saturday’s triumph came in a special 28-lap memorial race honoring former division competitor Ron Fortune, who passed away during the week.  Cassidy took the lead on lap-11, passing early leader Charles Canfield on the inside.  Cassidy currently leads the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national standings in Division IV racing. 

Dimatteo survived a wild 20-lap Legends Cars race.  He led for a good portion of the race before succumbing to the hottest driver in the division, Matt Pappa.  Pappa made an inside move with 15-laps completed. Pappa had just completed the pass when, just in front of the leaders, a car at the tail of the field blew an engine.  All the leaders crashed except Dimatteo who somehow kept control of his car in a trail of liquid.  Dimatteo resumed his lead following the restart to take his first win of the season.

Debbis took the over control of the race following a lap-8 caution period during the 20-lap Bandolero feature.  Early leader Jacob Perry actually brought out the first caution when his car lost a tire after dropping back to third.  Once out front Debbis dominated, going on to a victory margin of nearly a half-track.

The Speedbowl is back next Saturday night with the season-opening event for the International Supermodified Association (ISMA).  The 800-horsepower Supermodifieds will go 50-laps in distance, joining NASCAR Whelen All-American Series races for the SK Modifieds®, SK Light Modifieds, Street Stocks and Mini Stocks.

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